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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Kingdom of Ash https://amzn.to/2CJqsJr

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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
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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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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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Quick Review: Soldier by Julie Kagawa


A YA love triangle with dragons. That’s all that needs to be said.

I kid…

Sorta…

Ember and joined Cobalt and is still struggling with the exit of Garret. She is torn between two boys, a dragon or a soldier. Both seem to be pulling her in their directions. But she’s not sure what to do.

Even though Garret left, he can’t seem to forget Ember. When he discovers something extremely disturbing about The Order, he must go back to the states and see if he can help make things right.

Another exciting installment in the Talon series that left me breathless. I’m about to dive into the next book. I’m so glad I waited till they were all complete. This really is a fun YA series. It’s been added to my list of recs.

On a side note, my non reader son read these books and thoroughly enjoyed them. He is currently rushing me to finish so he can talk about them. That’s saying something. It’s nice to find books like this.

~Melpomene

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Quick review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Not enough stars!! When I first saw this cover, I knew I had to read it. I didn’t even care what it was about. I just knew that I needed it. And let me tell you, I am so glad I did. I just finished this and now I’m sitting here with a big dorky smile on my face. Such a good book. Exciting and adventurous. Romantic and sweet. It’s just like Amazon said, Wonder Woman meets Vikings. I am dying to listen to the audible. I bet it’s gonna be just as amazing.

Eelyn is a warrior. Raised to believe the Riki are enemies. But when she’s captured and enslaved by them, she comes to the realization that they aren’t much different than her own clan. In fact, she learns that if they’re being honest, they have a common goal, and sets out to show them that. There are a few surprises for her and us, but it makes the story that much more exciting.

I loved the romance weaved throughout this. It’s very subtle. I wondered if there was even going to be a romance, and amazingly I was okay if there wasn’t. I was that hooked. But when it showed up, I was super happy. All stories need a little love.

There’s so much I wanna say, but I’ll let you read it and enjoy it for yourself. But the best part is that it’s a standalone! This wonderful story is all wrapped up in one spectacular package. It’s also going on my YA list. The teens in my life will love this. I can’t wait till my daughter reads this book. She’s gonna love it. LOVE IT. Ax and knife throwing is a hobby of hers.

This is Adrienne Young’s debut and I’m telling you, I found a new author to obsess over. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.

Melpomene

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Quick Review: Traitor Born by Amy Bartol


Oh my gosh!!! Exciting, emotional and non-stop action. Seriously. I couldn’t put this down. I need to sit down and collect my brain after that ending. I mean, holy crap. Amy knows how to get my blood pumping. You must read Secondborn before you even think about diving into this book. If you don’t have time to sit, grab the audible. I did my reread via audible and it was just fabulous.

Roselle is doing everything in her power to change the world around her. She’s surrounded by those who are supposed to be helping her but the more she’s involved, the more I realize that she’s utterly clueless. And then SHE doesn’t realize that until it’s too late.

No spoilers here, no worries. By the time I was at the ending, I had quite a few “Holy frak” moments. Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, the rug was pulled out from under me. This girl can’t seem to catch a break. She wants to trust everyone, but she really can’t. Everyone has an agenda. And if she’s not smart, she going to be taken out of the picture.

That being said, I have a few predictions and a few “I hope…” ideas, but I’ll just have to sit here and wait. Gah!!

~Melpomene

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Traitor Born https://amzn.to/2H8SWLG
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Rebel Born https://amzn.to/2JQdvOX