Tag Archives: Fantasy

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

 The Bone Witch
by Rin Chupeco

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha―one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!

Book 1 of The Bone Witch series

Rated: ★★★★
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication: March 7, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, YA
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this title.

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The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Sometimes, a popular book comes out that everyone loves and I just don’t get. I’m used to those situations happening. But then, sometimes the opposite happens and a book that has been hyped up comes out to less favorable reviews, but I love it. That always shocks me. So, when I finished The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco and immediately thought FIVE STARS GREAT FANTASTIC, then checked goodreads to see the rating, I was flabbergasted. This was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed and wanted more of.

Chupeco does tremendously well in framing the story between before and after. This is probably one of the most successful aspects of this book. It builds up the suspense and helps propel the plot forward. It kept me thrumming with anxiety as I saw the pages left to finish the book dwindle down while the two halves of the book were nowhere near close to connecting. Part of the book takes place after. After what? We can only guess the specifics but we know Tea was exiled. A bard finds her and she tells her tale to him while working on something that had me frightened, not only for what’s to come, but for her very sanity as well. The rest of the book is the story Tea is telling about her childhood, about how she got to the point she’s at by the end of the book. He story stops short of filling in all the gaps, which we’ll likely see more of in a sequel.

The story itself was well crafted, with a solid start to worldbuilding. We get the idea of these different cultures, social hierarchies, myths, etc. and how they influence everything, especially Tea’s story. Tea, a small town girl with big town magic, gets roped into becoming an Asha, almost like a magical geisha. She has to learn history, politics, song, dance, etc. all in order to provide stimulating conversation and entertainment to those that can afford it. But, Tea’s specialization requires even more of her. As she is a bone witch, she will also be in charge of defeating monsters that pop up periodically — a task only bone witches are capable of completing.

Now, this wouldn’t be a YA fantasy novel if it didn’t also include romance, which is hinted upon from the very beginning. I died because I was so intrigued by who it would be she fell in love with. I had my suspicions and I had my hopes and my suspicions won out, but my hope is still there! Trust me, you don’t want me to spoiler that because we literally do not get a name until the last page and it was SO WORTH IT.

Another thing that really sets The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco apart is the inclusion of people of color. I never once while reading felt that this was a world of white, which I absolutely loved and think we need more of, especially in fantasy. I mean, if we can have 3 headed dragons, why not a cast of diverse characters? Also, the addition of a potentially lgbtqa* character towards the end had me throwing my hands up in glee (at least, that’s how I read the character secret as).

There was only one part that did slow the book down — fashion descriptions. Yes, they may have been important in creating the story, but I honestly could not keep track of it all, nor did I make that big an effort to. It ended up becoming lines on a page to skim past.

Overall, The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco is a novel that I absolutely adored. It felt unique, had me connected to the characters and world, and now has me in agony waiting for the sequel to pop up. Such a lovely and refreshing YA book!

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

 A Court of Thorns and Roses
by Sarah J Maas

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin–one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin–and his world–forever.

Rated: ★★½
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication: May 5, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Personally purchased title

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

I have heard such amazing things about A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. Heard about how great Sarah J Maas is at creating great characters and amazing worlds. How gripping ACOTAR is and what a wild ride it is. Told it is everything I could ever want. Well, maybe all of that is true, but I didn’t see or feel it until the very end of the book.

One of the biggest flaws for me has to be the pacing. The first half of the book had me slogging along, ready to pull my hair out. There was so little actually accomplished, I just didn’t know what the big fuss was about. Then, finally at about the 75% mark, things picked up wildly. The last quarter of the book is what saved the book. If Maas was better able to find a balance between setting story up and going through action, this would have made a world of difference.

Then, the second biggest flaw for me were the characters, mainly protagonist Feyre. She fell so flat for me. The first half, and main reason the book was such a chore to get through, sees Feyre lamenting her life and in such a state of self-pity, I had to wonder why I was reading this instead of just living my own life and fretting upon my own depression. People are allowed to feel depressed, to be in despair, but when you’re writing characters feeling these things, you need to do so with craft. It’s hard to spend a hundred pages or so stuck in the mire with them, especially when you’re just getting to know them.

So, with the faults out of the way, how did the book still get three and a half stars? That ending! It was so unexpected and action packed, it made up for the rest of the book dragging. It made me wish we had seen more of that, convinced me that yes, Maas does know what she’s doing, but had me wondering why she saved it for the end.

There’s a lot more I can talk about, and have talked about in a pair of podcasts on Pages and Pause Screen (first half, second half). In general, however, I think my thoughts on A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas can be summed up by saying that it’s an intriguing start to a new series that will hopefully only pick up in the sequel!

Gilded Cage by Vic James

Gilded Cage by Vic James

 Gilded Cage
by Vic James

Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

Rated: ★★★
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Publication: February 14, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this title.

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Gilded Cage by Vic James

All I can say is I need the second book ASAP! Gilded Cage by Vic James is an impressive first look into a new, grim world that feels oddly familiar and appropriate given the current state of affairs in the world. Society is broken up into the haves and the have-nots, as those with special powers they were born with (and are acquired through inherited birth by a few it seems) are in control of Great Britain, while the plebs without power all must endure a ten year period of slavery.

Characters are intriguing, especially those that are Equal. There is so much intrigue and family politics that we just don’t know and it drives me crazy! Silyen, the youngest of the Parva-Jardine family is the one with the most Skill, yet, the aristocracy isn’t Skill/merit based. It’s still handed down to the first born. Which puts emotionally unstable Gavar as next in line to rule one of Britain’s founding Equal fathers. James does something incredibly interesting when it comes to Gavar. She sets up an initial prejudice for readers, automatically framing him as an antagonist. Yet, for the rest of the novel, we see more than just the monster James paints in the prologue. We see there is a struggle there; he is volatile, yes, but he is loving too. He is extreme, and yet it is the reserved Silyen who gives off an air of detachment to everyone and everything, that proves to be the extremist. He is the one with the long game, though no one knows what it is, including readers.

There is a sense of heavy worldbuilding here as Vic James mentions how different parts of the world are split up between Equals and commoners. America split in two, an obvious nod to the Civil War, but also the current heavy rift in society and culture. Britain itself remains aristocratic and parliamentary, but it has become more of a joke, as those with the most power tend to be the most in charge; physical displays of Skill taking command. We also get a heavy sense of history behind everything, giving the world a gravity that draws you in.

I could talk about Gilded Cage by Vic James for hours. There are so many layers masterfully intertwined in a book that still remains firmly YA. Strong characters and solid worldbuilding make the political themes of the book flourish, giving readers a desire to make changes in their own world after seeing the inconsistencies and cruelties that are allowed to exist to the benefit of the empowered few.

The Perfect Tear by Connie Lansberg

The Perfect Tear by Connie Lansberg

 The Perfect Tear
by Connie Lansberg

Eleanor is a singer. Her songs keep nature in balance, but when they are stolen from her, a grey mist descends and her world fails to thrive. This timid orphan is thrust into a course of action she never asked for, nor envisioned. Set against a backdrop of abandonment, loss and betrayal, she must find her way through strange and dangerous landscapes in her desperate search for the Perfect Tear, a dark crystal which holds the future of her world. But, Eleanor is no savior. She is a simple girl with strong instincts and she must learn to trust them. Just like the notes of song must connect to create a melody, Eleanor must discover the connections needed to create the harmony required to truly save her world.

Rated: ★★
Publisher: Shooting For Success LLC
Publication:  December 15, 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Coming-of-Age, Young Adult
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this title.

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The Perfect Tear by Connie Lansberg

A world created by song with divine beings described as frequencies, this is the universe in The Perfect Tear by Connie Lansberg. It feels a tad bit more sci-fi than fantasy, simply because of the frequency and experiment premise, also the lack of traditional fantasy staples such as fantastic creatures. Still, it’s an entertaining and original story.

Lansberg does a superb job of having readers connect with Eleanor (and Bella, my fave) by having the reader glimpse into her entire life. We see the troubled birth, the blessed and cursed childhood, and then a young girl’s heart’s desire before finally seeing her mature into adulthood and come into her trials. So when she has to undergo her journey, we’re with her and feel for what she goes through.

I wish the romance was explored more, since what little we saw of it made me think it was a great one. I mean hello, a prince was willing to throw away his title and family for this poor orphan girl! Who wouldn’t want to know more, see more of their struggle? But, I understand that this was not a romance. Eleanor has a task at hand that is much more serious than love. She needs to save the world from the unbalance one overzealous frequency has caused.

Sadly, I have to admit that Lansberg stretches herself a bit too thinly when she adds an extra adventurer to the mix of Eleanor and Audrey. Rosamar doesn’t seem needed and distracts from the scenes with her bad Spanish (I’m a native Spanish speaker, so some of those lines were just cringey). If she had a greater role or purpose, perhaps in a longer book, I would have been okay with it. But for the length we have, she was just pointless.

The Perfect Tear by Connie Lansberg is an enjoyable fantasy novel that is a pretty easy read and fairly light, for all its dark tones. It’s a good intro book into fantasy for teens I’d say that want to start slow.

The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova

The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova

 The Alchemists of Loom
by Elise Kova

Her vengeance. His vision.

Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.

Book 1 of the Loom Saga

Rated: ★★★
Publisher: Keymaster Press
Publication: January 10, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this title.

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The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova

Ariana had a bomb, three bullets, two refined daggers, a mental map of her heist, and a magic winch-box. All she waited for now was darkness.

Those first two sentences alone sucked me into The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova. This was such a great fantasy book reminiscent of Six of Crows and Red Queen. With amazing pacing that never lags, characters that feel whole and real, and a world that is completely unique and amazing, this is definitely a fantasy novel I can recommend to readers.

Kova does not coddle the reader, thrusting you immediately into her brand new world which is brilliant and devastating all at once. You pick up meanings, customs, divisions as you read, but even without knowing the specifics, you feel like the author knows exactly what she’s talking about. The world has depth to it and doesn’t need to be explicitly explained for you to understand.

The characters are great and well-rounded. Arianna is especially fantastic as a main character that is strong-willed, bold, cunning, and non-heteronormative! Cvareh the Dragon (not a Smaug dragon btw) is her counterpart, arrogant and brash, more reaction than planned action. The glue holding them together is timid Florence. The three form a tiny little kinship to visit the Alchemists of Loom, each having their own reasons which they don’t necessarily share completely with the others.

If you’re looking for a new young adult fantasy that has solid grounding, an intricate plot, and characters that feel more like people than flat words on a page, please do yourselves a favor and pick up The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova. It is a great book that makes me want to pick up her previous books as I wait for the second in the series.

IF you pre-order the book and email proof, you can get some pretty nifty swag. More info on Kova’s website

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Quotes & Excerpts

Adulthood just meant finding the variety of crazy that resonated the most with you and doing it until you died or it killed you — whichever came first.
pg 177

But a soul driven by vengeance was a selfish soul. A soul driven by vision was a generous one — one that bore itself before others and put the needs of the many before the needs of the few.
pg 357

About the Author


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Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the upcoming Loom Saga (Keymaster, 2017).

Metronome by Oliver Langmead

Metronome by Oliver Langmead

 Metronome
by Oliver Langmead

The Sleepwalkers hunt the nightmares that haunt sleeping minds. They traverse the connected dreamworlds where reason is banished and the imagination holds sway.

But tonight, one Sleepwalker has gone rogue. Abandoning her oath to protect the dreamscapes, she devotes herself to another cause, threatening to unleash a nightmare older than man

Once a feted musician, Manderlay lives in an Edinburgh care home, riddled with arthritis. He longs for his youth and the open seas, to regain the use of his hands and play the violin again.

For too long, Manderlay’s nights have been host to dark, corrupted dreams. His comrades in the retirement home fear Manderlay is giving in to age and senility – but the truth is much worse. The dreamworld is mapped with music – and one of Manderlay’s forgotten compositions holds the key to an ancient secret. The Sleepwalkers are closing in on him. He might be their saviour, or his music might be their damnation…

Rated: ★★½
Publisher: Unsung Stories
Publication: January 17 2017
Genre: Dreampunk, Fantasy, Surrealist
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this title.

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Metronome by OIiver Langmead

SUCH an interesting concept and fantastic execution, Metronome by Oliver Langmead is a thought provoking, yet fun read. Manderlay’s adventures into the land of dreams is exciting. The idea of nightmares as something that must be physically fought and defeated is great. What Langmead does with the nightmares, his description of them, is smart, keeping them relatively nondescript so that the reader can imagine what they are.

The story takes three turns, each of which are equally interesting. The first, we see Manderlay as an elderly man living in an assisted living home suffering from arthritis and repeated nightmares. Learning more about him and his life would have made for a lovely contemporary novel. How did he get there? Why? What’s happened to his family? We never find out as it isn’t necessary for the story, yet, I was so endeared by Manderlay, I really wish I knew.

The second turn happens when Manderlay decides to stay dreaming to correct a mistake. This is when all of the action happens and the people he comes across are so interesting, especially March. The more we find out about March and the bits we find out about his life outside of dreams, the more I love him and want a story about him and his adventures. All of the characters are people I’d love to know more about, which is a testament to how well Langmead writes that his side characters are just as developed and interesting as his main character.

The last turn, well, I won’t say much on that because it is a spoiler, but it’s a great one that leaves you wondering what the heck just happened! It’s such an interesting thing to think about, yet it just makes sense.

A fun, fast-paced, and well developed book, Metronome by Oliver Langmead is sure to please both fantasy fans, as well as surrealists and intellectuals. However, it will leave some frustrated and wanting more (which can be the mark of a good writer, I suppose, but still I WANT MORE!)

About the Author

Oliver Langmead was born in Edinburgh and lives in Glasgow. He has an LLB in Law, and an MLitt in Writing Practice and Study with a distinction, and is currently working towards an MLitt in Fantasy. His first book, Dark Star, featured in the Guardian’s Best Books of 2015.

Cedric the Demonic Knight by Valerie Willis

Cedric the Demonic Knight by Valerie Willis

 Cedric the Demonic Knight
by
 Valerie Willis

Lord Cedric du Romulus may be a powerful knight, but he’s no human nor does he like masquerading as one. He is a mixed blood demon made by Sorceress Morrighan in her quest to create an army of powerful underlings. Seeking out ever-stronger enemies, he devours them for their power; nothing is safe from his fangs whether they are beasts, demons, or magic wielders. When he finds himself staring at Morrighan’s castle, will he be able to follow through with his life’s ambition and leave behind his lover and wife, Lady Angeline who herself is an heir to a legacy of unknown magic.

Book 1 of the Cedric Series

Rated: ★★★
Publisher: Battle Goddess Productions
Publication: February 9, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this title.

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Cedric the Demonic Knight by Valerie Willis

The Morrigan, demons, magic, and knights, Cedric the Demonic Knight by Valerie Willis had me sold with the synopsis. Then, I saw the cover and thought oh no, did I make a mistake? The cover didn’t grab me or sell me as much as the synopsis did. I put off reading it, thinking oh no, I have made a mistake. But finally, I picked it up and boy oh boy, is this another case of not judging a book by its cover. The writing is actually really great, as is the story!

The writing is incredibly solid and very reminiscent of typical high fantasy novels. It is structured and descriptive, but not overly so to the point where readers become bogged down or bored. The dialogue feels natural, but is a bit nasty for my taste. I know why the character speaks the way he does, but it doesn’t help keep me from cringing when he does and gets misogynistic.

The plot is also typical of fantasy. There is the overarching goal — destroy Morrighan. The distractions — beasts, discovery of self. The improbability of survival. Cedric, after accidentally acquiring a witchy blooded wife, is on a quest to destroy his makers. A father and a literal maker who designed his birth almost as though he were a lab experiment.

THE ROMANCE! Boy oh boy! I had read another book which I had to DNF and will not receive a review, but it was just sex that made no sense with no story just 10% in. This, on the other hand, was all teasing and no act. When the romantic interests finally give in to their passion, fade to black. Talk about sexual frustration!

This is a fantasy series, despite its drab cover, that really lives up to the genre and is a great read. I wholeheartedly recommend Cedric the Demonic Knight by Valerie Willis to readers that like a mix of Arthurian fantasy mixed with demons and witchcraft with a sprinkle of sex and romance.

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Quotes & Excerpts

There could be no more crying. There was no more room for the naïve Angeline in this new world of darkness
-Chapter Fifteen

About the Author

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Valerie WillisValerie Willis, a sixth generation Floridian, launched her first book, Cedric the Demonic Knight, at the start of 2014 on Amazon.com. Since then, she has launched the second book to The Cedric Series, Romasanta: Father of Werewolves (2015), with several installments to come in this high rated Fantasy Romance Series. She pulls in a melting pot of mythology, folklores, history and more into her work with a remarkable amount of foreshadowing that makes reading her books a second time exciting. Also she recently published Rebirth the first book in her Teen Urban Fantasy, the Tattooed Angels Trilogy. Currently on the table to be completed is book two for the Tattooed Angels Trilogy, Judgment and book three in The Cedric Series, The Oracle.

A Bond of Venom and Magic by Karen Tomlinson

A Bond of Venom and Magic by Karen Tomlinson

 A Bond of Venom and Magic
by Karen Tomlinson

The Wraith Lord is hunting; his prize, the key to unleashing darkness and Chaos upon the eight Kingdoms.

For Diamond Gillon the war raging in the south seems a remote danger until her home is brutally attacked. Having lost everything she holds dear, Diamond is catapulted into a terrifying new world in which legendary beasts arise, magic is condemned and half blood fae, like her, have no rights. Despite her growing feelings for her saviour, Commander Hugo Casimir, he remains a paradox – not only is he a heartless killer, he is owned by the cruel immortal fae queen; a queen who will murder her own people for magic.

As Diamond’s circumstances become ever more perilous she is drawn deeper into Hugo’s world and discovers the lengths to which he will go to save what he holds dear. Will Hugo become her friend, her protector, or – an enemy not worthy of her trust?

A Bond of Venom and Magic is a tale of two people bound by magic and secrets, but trapped in the complexities of love and betrayal. It is the beginning of an epic journey, one that will test Diamond’s resolve and determination to battle an evil that threatens not only her world but that of Eternity, the land of The Guardians and The Goddess.

Book 1 of The Goddess and the Guardians series

Rated: ★★★
Publication: October 14, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this title.

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A Bond of Venom and Magic by Karen Tomlinson

Full of action and romance, A Bond of Venom and Magic by Karen Tomlinson is fast paced and exciting. Characters are great and so is the story and lore. I absolutely loved this book and devoured it quickly because I needed to know what would happen next. I mean, heck, I even went and tweeted author Tomlinson because of what was going on in the story.

Protagonist Diamond will not be everyone’s cup of tea. I’ll start off by saying that. She isn’t reminiscent of other recent female YA fantasy protagonists who fight, sneak, or play games. Diamond, instead, is innocent and guileless. Overprotected by her father, living in a small town, she never learned how to fight or fend for herself. So, when she’s forced to fight, she can’t. It’s aggravating but also humanizing. I loved that she had anxiety and panic attacks, simply because it made her relatable as someone who also experiences anxiety and has had panic attacks. I mean, if you’re suddenly forced into battle after being coddled your entire life, panic attacks make sense!

Opposite Diamond is Hugo. Now, Hugo, Hugo, Hugo. I don’t know what to make of him. Part of me loves him. Part of me doesn’t. Most of me is reminded of Edward Cullen. He’s broody, overprotective, aggressive, possessive, etc. It makes sense in the context of the story, but still, it’s written so over-the-top that I was left wondering how anyone could ignore his feelings or be oblivious to them. It does get resolved towards the end, but it was still distracting.

So, you might be thinking, given the problems with Diamond and Hugo, how is this a four star book? Easy. It works. Diamond needs protecting and Hugo is over-protective. It just clicks and makes your heart flutter, which is surprising for me to say since I actually want to pair Diamond with human Prince Jack, who, given his limited page time, has me completely smitten. He’s the best and I love him and want to see more of him. I know end game will be Diamond/Hugo, but it doesn’t detract me from wishing for Diamond/Jack.

There is something that happens in the ending that did leave me disappointing. A character takes a turn, and it doesn’t really gel with everything that has happened up until that point. Usually, an author would leave tiny hints that could click into place when the turn happens, but I didn’t feel it with this book. It felt completely undeserved and really knocked a star off the rating.

A Bond of Venom and Magic by Karen Tomlinson has solid characters, but tentative lore. It feels like Tomlinson does know what she’s writing about, but hasn’t wanted to put anything in stone yet. That said, this was a fun read that I would recommend to fans of the Twilight series or the Sookie Stackhouse series, but looking for abstinent YA.

Still not convinced? Sign up for her mailing list and you’ll get the first five chapters free!

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About the Author

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Karen Tomlinson is the author of The Goddess and the Guardians series of Young Adult fantasy books. Book one A Bond of Venom and Magic will be released October 14th 2016.

Karen has always been an avid reader. Her taste in books is eclectic but she likes nothing better than an exciting fantasy, set in a new and magical world. She lives in Derbyshire, England, with her husband, twin girls and her dalmatian, Poppy. Karen trained as a nurse and currently works as a resuscitation and clinical skills trainer, this involves training a wide variety of health care professionals and medical students in acute patient care. In addition to writing, and reading whenever she can, Karen likes to keep active. She has been training at Shotokan karate since being thirteen, likes walking, mountain biking and (for something completely different) cake decorating. She is currently working on book two in The Goddess and the Guardians series.

About me!

As soon as I could read I spent hours getting lost in the new worlds books could give me. Spending my pocket money had to be done (obviously) but not on sweets, well, not many…I spent my money on books. Back then it was Enid Blyton’s Famous Five which sparked my young mind. I didn’t rest until I had the whole set, then I migrated to the secret seven…(there was no Harry Potter then) As a teenager I would trawl through all my mum and dad’s discarded books. It was probably highly inappropriate for a thirteen year old to be reading swoony Mills and Boon romances followed by Ian Flemming, Alistair Maclean and Wilbur Smith!
Because I read anything and everything I could get my hands on back then, I now have an eclectic taste in books. I will read anything that catches my eye and absolutely love illustrated book covers! In my late teens I discovered fantasy and that genre has stayed my firm favourite. I am and will always remain a complete sucker for a fantasy with kick ass characters and worlds steeped in magic and romance!