Review: The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

Vivid, magical and EPIC!! That was the best way to end this most amazing trilogy. My heart was racing all throughout this entire book.

Vasya is determined to save her country by uniting them and showing them that there is way to be together and allow everyone their own religious freedoms. When we thought she was strong in the previous books, this is nothing compared to those.

She lives up to the prophecy. She makes allies with those who wouldn’t normally work together. As it’s said in the book, she’s a bridge between men and chyerti. The magic is failing as those stop believing in spirits. I loved watching her. She has the power to change things and she does.

No spoilers but this book was probably 10 times as exciting as the first two books. I couldn’t put it down. As I type this out, I’m awaiting Urania’s excited reactions. It’s her influence that gave me the nudge to dive into these books. I owe her.

There is a smidgen more of romance in this one but it’s very much on the back burner. I actually find myself not even looking for it. It’s just a bonus. But love, familial or romantic, is definitely a strong motivator to get things accomplished. But I will say that I’ve had my eye on Morozko since the first book and I’m happy to see him live up to my expectations.

“Love is for those who know the griefs of time, for it goes hand in hand with loss. An eternity, so burdened, would be a torment.”

Let the book hangover begin…

~Melpomene
Buy The Winter of the Witch https://amzn.to/2QksNlT

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Quick Review(again): The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Magical, enchanting and fantastical!

I’ve heard lots of people talking about this book since it released last year, especially Urania. And I know it’s already been reviewed, but I just had to shout it’s praises for myself. To be honest, The Bear and the Nightingale didn’t seem like something I’d like, since I mostly read romance, but it was always in the back of my mind. When I decided to start a book club, this book was one of the books I was hoping we’d get to read this winter. So for our December book we chose this. I just finished reading it and I can’t believe I waited so long. Seriously.

“All my life, I have been told to ‘go’ and ‘come’. I am told how I will live, and I am told how I must die. I must be a man’s servant and a mare for his pleasure, or I must hide myself behind walls and surrender my flesh to a cold, silent god. I would walk into the jaws of hell itself, if it were a path of my own choosing. I would rather die tomorrow in the forest than live a hundred years of the life appointed to me.”

That quote pretty much sums up the reason I loved Vasya. She is done waiting and sets out to do something for herself.

I can’t put my finger on why I loved this book. Perhaps it’s the Russian folklore aspect. Or maybe the odd characters. Or it may be that I can tell that there’s more epicness coming and that’s what made it such a page turner. Not sure, but this is definitely in my top 10 of this year. I can’t recommend it enough.

And now I need to read book two. I need to know what happens next!!

~Melpomene

Buy The Bear and the Nightingale https://amzn.to/2L6qBbL

Review: Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

Once upon a time, in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom…

Epic, awesome, emotional roller coaster of a book. The end has come and it’s not without heartache and hope.

My emotions were all over the place. I got chills so many times. I could see these scenes playing out like a movie, the battle soundtrack playing in my ear, the characters going through heartache after heartache, it felt real to me. So many times I had step away and collect myself so I could keep going. This book was an experience like none other. In fact, when I finished, I told my family that I haven’t felt this, “What am I supposed to now?” kinda feeling since I first read Hunger Games. I’m at a loss on what to do.

“You do not yield.”

I still have all kinds of feelings flowing through my veins. Sadness is probably at the top, but not the for the reasons you may think. You see, I was late to this series. I discovered it at Heir of Fire and introduced it to my kids at Queen of Shadows. So for the past few years we’ve talked and experienced these books together. Even my son, who’s an anti reader, enjoyed these. But it’s my daughter who I really had fun with. I had to buy an extra copy for her so we could buddy read. In fact, I gave her the day off of school so we could read it on release day. #HomeschoolPerk We laughed and cried and raged together. This is a memory I’ll always have. So the reason I’m sad is that now we don’t have anything else to look forward to. This was her favorite series and now it’s done.

I bet this is how the Harry Potter parents felt when the last book released. The end of an era. Time to move on and grow up. I don’t think I like this.

Because of all the above, this review is a little bit different. A thank you of sorts. Not to spoilery, but I’d wait to continue on until after you finish the book. Just in case.

Aelin, thank you for rising up and taking the world on your shoulders and doing the best you can to make it better. Should this happen again, don’t keep all your ideas to yourself! Let others help you!

Rowan, thank you for loving Aelin and showing her how to the best person she can be. I’m so happy she found you right at the moment she needed you most.

Chaol, thank you for realizing your mistakes and doing everything in your power to fix them. You’re going to be an amazing helpmate with that kind of heart.

Dorian, thank you for reaching down in your soul and discovering the great king we all knew you could be. I hope you have an epic HEA.

Manon, thank you for being so strong when you kept getting knocked down and showing us how to move on from such overwhelming heartbreak. I grew to love so much more than I did when we first met.

Aedion, thank you for being so steadfast in your love for your queen and cousin. Every family needs a member like you. But when your angry, take a deep breath before you say hurtful words. It’ll save you a lot of groveling later. 😉

Lysandra, thank you for being the best friend Aelin could ever ask for. You are strong and have the biggest heart. I am so happy you found them and they found you. I wish for you a very long and happy life.

I wanna say thank you, Sarah, for giving us this most epic of series. Thank you for this roller coaster ride that has lasted for these eight books. Thank you for giving me memories with my children that some parents don’t get. Thank you sharing this world with us. And I look forward to your next series and I’m anxious to read it.

~Melpomene

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Throne of Glass https://amzn.to/2D7G0HN
Crown of Midnight https://amzn.to/2O9XkNt
Heir of Fire https://amzn.to/2Rl2gkD
Queen of Shadows https://amzn.to/2D75eWW
Empire of Storms https://amzn.to/2EK7jtn
Tower of Dawn https://amzn.to/2CHHTtz
Kingdom of Ash https://amzn.to/2CJqsJr

Review: Kiss of the Spindle by Nancy Campbell Allen

I adore fairy tale retellings and Kiss of the Spindle fit the bill. This had everything that made me happy. Witches, shifters, curses and swoony men. Can’t go wrong with that.

Isla Cooper has been put under a spell and she must do everything in her power to find the witch that cast it, even if it means blackmailing her way onto an airship. She basically sleeps like the dead every night. She’s running out of time. Soon the curse will be permanent. Her calling as a shifter empath has put her in the sights of a few who would like her to fail in her endeavor. So she must call upon her fellow airship occupants to help her, even though she’s used to doing things alone.

Captain Daniel Pickett was mot amused into being blackmailed. He’s a mission and he doesn’t have time to be messed around with. He has no idea what’s in store for him. Just when he’s content with his life, Isla brings a spark into it and draws him into her. He falls hard. But when he find out what’s happening to her each night, he does everything in his power to help her.

I love the slow burn of this romance. It kept me turning the pages. I was so excited to see where this was headed. I’m glad we got to see Daniel’s story. We met him in the previous story, Beauty and the Clockwork Beast. But this is a standalone, so don’t worry about missing anything.

I’m still fairly new to the world of steampunk. I’ve read less than a handful of them. But I gotta admit, they intrigue me. They’re like historical, and yet not. Kiss was no exception. I just have to reset my mind and jump into a world of gadgets and gizmos. I hope we get more in this series.

~Melpomene
Buy Kiss of the Spindle https://amzn.to/2tt4mUW

Review: Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf


Boy, I wish I knew this was gonna be a trilogy before I started. Towards the end I was getting nervous and then BAM. So now I sit here waiting……

I went in blind so I really didn’t have any idea what it was about. To be honest, in the beginning I wasn’t sure if I was going to finish. Her inner voice kept reminding us about the same thing over and over and over again. It was getting rather annoying. But I stuck with it and ended up hooked.

Zera was torn between doing what she needed to do and what she wanted to do. She’s on a mission that, if it was just about her, her decisions would’ve been easier to make. But since it’s not only about her, she has to come to terms with what she really is and why she’s really here.

Personally I liked the prince’s bodyguard more than anyone. He was quick witted and duty bound to the prince. He was always there to say what others were thinking, even if he should keep it to himself. Without him, I probably would’ve quit the book early on.

I liked the premise of the story. I really did, even though I pretty much knew what was going to happen. The ending, while exciting, wasn’t a surprise to me. I knew it. I know this all sounds negative, but I think teens will like it. It was a sweet romance with very exciting undertones. I look forward the next one.

~Melpomene

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Quick review: Legion by Julie Kagawa


I’m stressed. Totally stressed. This is the beginning of the end. Very action packed and tense. So many battles, both physically and emotionally. The ending I never saw coming. Now I am both nervous and excited to read the final book.

However, I will say that I now know how my daughter felt when reading the Iron Fey books. My heart is with the other guy. This is a bittersweet read now. But I’m dying to know what happens, so I’m pushing through. I think this book had more of the romance aspect in it, compared to the others.

What I like about this series is that we get many POVs. Not only from Ember and her soldier and rogue, but also her brother. I liked knowing what was happening from the inside of Talon and what their plans are. Although I totally didn’t agree with them, and they added to my stress, it was nice to know what Dante was thinking.

Who knew a YA book would have me feeling this way? I am almost afraid to continue on, but I’m pulling up my big girl panties and diving in.

~Melpomene

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Rogue https://amzn.to/2xbB0zA
Soldier https://amzn.to/2kq4VuD
Legion https://amzn.to/2xcGXML

Review: Legendary by Stephanie Garber


Seriously‽‽ Now what am I supposed to do‽‽ This is not how I expected this story to go at all. If you read Caraval, you know how it ended. It wasn’t cut and dry. There was still more fun to be had.

Legendary was an experience. Definitely one of a kind. Magical and mysterious with more jaw dropping scenes than I ever expected. The game has changed. This time, everything is real…or is it…

Romance played a bigger role in Legendary than in Caraval. But while it was still familial, there was way more romantic love throughout it. In fact that’s probably why I enjoyed this one more. Lots of swoony scenes that had me all twitterpated.

Dante had my heart fluttering. I know he was the typical bad boy before, and he had his moments here, but he definitely showed his true colors in this one. Pleasantly surprised by him. And then just plain, downright surprised at him.

Jacks left me with a lot of unanswered questions. There’s so much more to him that we didn’t get to see. But since he’s a master at trickery, I fell under his spell.

Many times I forgot that Tella was only 16 years old. Sometimes she can act like the flighty school girl but most of the time she made difficult decisions that would give us mature adults pause. I really liked her. I think more than her sister even. My heart felt what she felt. It raced when her was racing. It hurt when hers hurt. Part of me hopes we eventually get more from her. Even a little short story. I feel like her story isn’t done yet. She has a lot of life to live.

The conclusion was way more open ended than I was expecting. In fact, it left me reeling. I can honestly say that I’m not sure how I feel. I think I wanted a definitive ending. I wanted a choice to be made…and yet there was. Gah!! I want more!! My head is still spinning.

And I’m editing this now because the author just announced that we WILL be getting a third book! Holy moly. I am so excited now. I need more.

~Melpomene

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Caraval https://amzn.to/2GkC7kG
Legendary https://amzn.to/2pUnTMA