Tag Archive | Magic

Review: When Stars Are Bright

Title: When Stars Are Bright

Author: Amber R. Duell

Date of Publication: January 7th, 2020

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Goodreads Summary:

For Lina Holt, a Dutch seventeen-year-old with a flair for singing, 1930 is going to be her year. Her long-time boyfriend is about to propose and her mother will finally realize their relationship isn’t a passing phase. But when a stranger snatches her from her backyard, everything changes.

Lina is thrust into the spotlight of a New York vaudeville show where she’s paired with Nik, a mysterious pianist. The two bond during rehearsals and it doesn’t take long before Nik puts himself at risk to confess a hidden truth. Without Lina, the show is in its last season and there’s no way she’ll be allowed to slip through the owner’s fingers. Not when she carries fairy magic in her blood—an gift that turns her song into a dangerously addictive drug.

If Lina ever wants to return home, she must learn who to trust before she’s forced to remain a prisoner on stage forever.

WHEN STARS ARE BRIGHT is a historical Thumbelina retelling with a touch of magic.

My Review:

I’ve read all of Duell’s books and this one has to be my favorite! When I read retellings, I like for them to have an original spin on it! And this had that! Also, it’s based on Thumbelina which I haven’t read any other retellings on!

What I liked best about this story was that it’s set in the 1930s! It’s very character driven with a touch of wonderful and hypnotic magic! Lina was easy to relate to and you could see her really grow as a character because of the predicament she was in!

I’ve read all of Duell’s books and this one has to be my favorite! When I read retellings, I like for them to have an original spin on it! And this had that! Also, it’s based on Thumbelina which I haven’t read any other retellings on!

What I liked best about this story was that it’s set in the 1930s! It’s very character driven with a touch of wonderful and hypnotic magic! Lina was easy to relate to and you could see her really grow as a character because of the predicament she was in!

I also seriously loved Nik and Christian and following this wonderful journey of these characters! Also, I’ll just say that the ending gave me a bucket full of emotion!


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What’s your favorite retelling?

Review: Unmade

Title: Unmade

Author: Sarah Rees Brennan

Date of Publication: September 22nd, 2015

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Goodreads Summary:

Powerful love comes with a price. Who will be the sacrifice?

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

My Review:

This final installment was so much fun! Magic, sorcery, romance, friendship, and tons of humor and emotion!

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Kami has been the perfect sort of main character—she’s funny, wrong about things, right about things, but truly grew as a character. Who I need to give a huge clap for is Jared because his growth was immaculate! And Rusty had to have been my favorite side character in this series—I loved him so much!

Without giving spoilers away, I highly recommend this series for an adventure full of fun and magic. Also, the dialogue by the author is seriously so good!

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Have you read this series?

Review: The Wicked Deep

Title: The Wicked Deep

Author: Shea Earnshaw

Date of Publication: March 6th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

My Review:

After that emotional and magnificent read, I’m a weeping willow of a mess! I’m just going to say I loved this book more than breathing air, and that it’s probably one of my favorite reads ever. I loved it so much!

We get a book with a witchy type of a sisterly tale! But my favorite part was the contemporary aspects and the mystery and the perfection of the author’s words!

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Penny and Bo were so good together and there chemistry was cute and sweet! I especially loved the chapters with the backstories on the sisters, so heartbreaking! I want everyone to know that I’m not okay after reading this, even though I’m totally okay … or am I? I already need back in these pages, and I need more books from this author!!!

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What’s your favorite witchy book?

Review: Untold

Title: Untold

Author: Sarah Rees Brennan

Date of Publication: August 29th, 2013

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Goodreads Summary:

It’s time to choose sides…. 

On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

A darkly humorous take on Gothic romance, Sarah Rees Brennan’s Lynburn Legacy weaves together the tale of a heroine desperate to protect those she loves, two boys hoping to be saved, and the magical forces that will shape their destiny.

My Review:

After that intense ending to book one, I had to dive right back into this world and see what the heck was going to happen! The sorcerer concept is really cool along with the Gothicky vibe which is my favorite!

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Oh my, I wanted to shake Kami and Jared so many times! But no matter how many shakes I wanted to give them, I loved them so much. Kami just has the coolest and quirkiest personality while Jared is a bit harder but when humorous things slip out of his mouth, I’m like, yes!

Rob is still a douchebag, trying to do douchey things. So Kami and her friends have to gather themselves to figure out how to stop this looney idiot! There was so much humor, magic, swoon, friendship, and emotion in this one! This author literally has the best witty dialogue I’ve ever read! Can’t wait to start the last book!

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What is your favorite Gothic novel?

Review: King of Scars

Title: King of Scars

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Date of Publication: January 29th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

My Review:

I’m going to say right now that Leigh Bardugo has more creativity and writing skills in her pinky finger than I have within my whole being! But let me just say I did like the book but I wasn’t in love with it. Andddddd I wanted more romance in this book!

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Let me just say when I heard this was going to be Nikolia’s book I was shouting from the rooftops, but here is where things go clunkity clunk clunk. To me, the book wasn’t even Nik’s story—it felt as if he was in the background the majority of the time, even in his own chapters. The other 3 main POVs seemed to have more interesting backstories with more attention—at least I felt that way.

Then there’s Nina… I’m just going to say so far, her story didn’t go where I hoped it would… So not sure how I will feel about that in book 2—could change. Isaak was new and a sweetheart and Zoya, well, she’s become pretty freaking awesome. I really enjoyed learning more about her.

So a lot of the book was slow, but don’t worry there was some awesomeness mingled in. Oh, and as expected, the book does end on a major cliffhanger. But as it stands right now, I feel like all the good things are going to take place in book 2, as if this was more of an opening book. I don’t know, but I hope Nik has more chapters next time because he deserves it!

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Have you read Bardugo’s other books?

Review: Blood Heir

Title: Blood Heir

Author: Amélie Wen Zhao

Date of Publication: June 4th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

A fugitive princess with the power to control blood. A cunning conman with no past and no future. An Empire spiraling into darkness. A world worth saving.

The Cyrilian Empire: a glittering white sprawl of frozen tundras and ancient, snow-capped forests, where ice spirits roam beneath the flickering northern lights, and where slavers hunt Affinites — those born with powers to manipulate elements.

Born with a horrifying Affinity to blood, Anastacya Mikhailov has never believed herself to be anything more than a monster. Her curse rings true when an accident in the dead of the night results in the death of her father, the Emperor of Cyrilia — and she is sentenced for his murder.

But Ana knows what she saw that night: the scent of poison in Papa’s blood, and the face of a murderer vanishing into the dark.

Alone, hunted, and on the run, Ana makes a bargain with Ramson Quicktongue, a handsome yet dangerous underground crime lord: help her find the true murderer and clear her name in exchange for her alliance.

When Ana’s search lands her in the lair of the most powerful slave trader in the Empire, she uncovers a horrifying truth. A new monarch stands poised to lead the empire to a path of hatred and divisiveness, and Ana must stop her before Cyrilia falls to darkness. But first, she must come to terms with the monster she thinks she is and the heir she was destined to be.

My Review:

A dark retelling version of Anastasia? I’m all in! I’ve read one other Anastasia retelling, Heart of Iron, which was totally different than this one but both were awesome!

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Ana was my baby monster—she could do some pretty amazing things with other people’s blood! We get another POV besides her, Ramson, and oh boy, this young gent had a mind full of things—betrayals, a dark past, a dark heart with a hint of light hidden in it. I loved him!!! And the scenes with him and Ana own my life!

The writing was so good, and the story was an incredible page turner. I was so scared of another book with a cliffhanger because I’ve started so many dang series that end on them, and while it is open ended because of the second book, it isn’t the death cliffhanger sentence that I loathe! And I’ll be ready for book two when it comes! Can I also just state that the freaking cover artist deserves a metal for the beautiful cover!

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What’s a power that you wish you had?

Author Interview: M. Dalto

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Two thousand years ago, the Prophecy of Fire and Light foretold the coming of the Queen Empress who would lead the Empire into a time of peace and tranquility. But instead of the coming of a prosperous world, a forbidden love for the Empress waged a war that ravaged the land, creating a chasm between the factions, raising the death toll of innocent lives until the final, bloody battle.

Centuries later, Alexandra, a twenty-two-year-old barista living in Boston, is taken to an unfamiliar realm of mystery and magic where her life is threatened by Reylor, its banished Lord Steward. She crosses paths with Treyan, the arrogant and seductive Crown Prince of the Empire, and together they discover how their lives, and their love, are so intricately intertwined by a Prophecy set in motion so many years ago.

Alex, now the predestined Queen Empress Alexstrayna, whose arrival was foretold by the Annals of the Empire, controls the fate of her new home as war rages between the Crown Prince and Lord Steward. Either choice could tear her world apart as she attempts to keep the Empire’s torrid history from repeating itself. In a realm where betrayal and revenge will be as crucial to her survival as love and honor, Alex must discover whether it is her choice – or her fate – that determines how she survives the Empire’s rising conflicts.

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