Sharing Saturday Sixty-One

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Another week has passed meaning it is once again another Sharing Saturday.  Today I have decided to share with you a song based on Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.  I feel that this song excellently portrays the book and I absolutely love it.  I would definitely recommend listening to it even if you have not read the book.  Here it is and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan

Image result for a touch of goldKing Midas was able to turn items into gold but he relinquished the power when he almost lost his daughter to this supposed gift.  Ten years later Princess Kora still bears the consequences with skin that shines golden and gifts that continually grow harder to hide.  

Kora remains hidden in the castle attempting to ignore the swirling gossip of the courtiers but when a duke arrives he seems to be able to see beneath the golden skin.  Their courtship is interrupted when a thief steals the golden pieces needed to keep the King alive.  With the unique ability to sense gold Kora sets out on a journey to recover the missing gold learning that everything is not as it seems.  And that gold and the power it holds is more dangerous than she ever imagined. 

This story based on the tale of King Midas and his golden touch was a phenomenal adventure that dragged me through the mind of a girl turned to gold by her father and his curse.  The characters pranced through my mind and the world building painted a vivid story that left me wondering what happens next.

The main character, Kora struggles to find her place in a world that is disgusted by her mere presence due to the golden hue of her skin.  In this story we see her go beyond the girl who is afraid and resigned to the hatred that surrounds her to one finding her acceptance and way in the world.  She begins to realize that her curse does not shape her and that she can be free and in control.  It was phenomenal as a reader to watch Kora’s growth and I loved her character even if I was at times annoyed by the fear that seemed to consume her.

Image result for predictable gifThe other side characters added a vivid array of emotions and flaws that made a complete cast.  I will state now that I knew immediately who the love interest would be and that the Duke (slight spoiler here) was not all that he appeared to be.  In the romance aspect, the tale was predictable but besides that, I loved pirates and their effect on the tale.

Besides the characters, the world building was gorgeous.  We see pirates, a lawless island, and sea creatures which all added to this stunning book.  Not to mention, the evil pirate of this tale who’s obsession with skulls was fascinating.  I will say that this book did not do a good job of sticking to Greek culture or history but if one simply takes the tale out of Greek context and sees it as a separate world it is perfect.

So, in the end, despite its flaws, I loved the tale of King Midas’ touch and the resulting consequences of the golden touch.  A sequel for this book called A Curse of Gold has been announced but will not be coming out for some time.

Beauty by Robin McKinley

Image result for beauty by robin mckinleyBeauty is a nickname for a girl who is as awkward as her sisters are gorgeous.  But her courage may make up for that as she goes forth to keep a terrible promise.  A promise made by her father to a horrifying beast.  But as she fulfills her promise she finds that maybe a beast can be tamed.

Beauty is yet another retelling of the infamous tale of Beauty and the Beast.  This was another interesting take on the story.  It was not horrible but I have read better versions of the story.  One of the main reasons I picked it up was because of its cover and the length of the book which was short.  However, the promise of greatness was not completely fulfilled.  The background and world building were gorgeous and the characters were great but there were a few instances where I hated the book.

The world-building was vibrant, to say the least.  The new take on the castle, the woods, and Beauty’s background was phenomenal.  I adored how the sisters were not mean and the ingenuity of the magic of the castle where every nuance of the castle is run by magic.  The invisible servants added extra luster to the tale and I quite enjoyed the background of the story.

The characters were also stunning.   The main character was not a beauty, she adored books and horses and was easy to connect to.  Even in his own way the Beast won me over as a reader through his sweet nature.  Furthermore, I loved Beauty’s family who supported her and she them through thick and thin.

Image result for im sorry I just cant gifHowever, these could only make up so much for the details I hated.  First of all, the ending.  It was short and rushed. One moment Beauty admits she loves the Beast and then everything just explodes.  Her family is suddenly there and her father’s in love along with her sister and all these people just appear.  Another thing was how old the Beast was.  He admitted that he aged one year for every ten meaning that he had aged twenty years so if he was twenty when he was cursed he is like forty and Beauty is like maybe twenty.  That is a huge age gap which I’m not totally against but I kind of am.  Not to mention the romance wasn’t developed very well and in comparison to other retellings, it was weak.

Due to all of this, I can’t say I loved the book but I am still glad I read it.  I’m just not sure how many more retellings of this timeless tale I am going to read for it is honestly getting kind of old.

Sharing Saturday Forty-Eight

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The weeks are simply flying me by for I have almost hit the fiftieth week of doing these Sharing Saturdays!  I’ll do something special in two weeks but for now, I decided to show you some amazing fan art for three amazing books that I have read and reviewed.  Let’s get started!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Clueless

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik

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Sharing Saturday Forty-Seven

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I am so excited for today’s post since I am a logophile.  I will once again be sharing new and exciting words that I have found in my travels throughout the bookish world.  I previously posted five fun words on Sharing Saturday Thirty-Seven and I decided that I had to do it more often.  Curiously enough it is exactly ten weeks later that I decided to do it again.  Without further ado… here are five unique words!

Farouche – sullen or shy in company (adjective)

Ataraxia – a state of serene calmness (noun)

lacuna – an unfilled space or gap, a missing portion in a book or manuscript, a cavity or depression especially in bone (noun)

Anthropophobia – fear of people and society (noun)

Echt – authentic and typical (adjective)

Book Review: The Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell

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Desperate to escape the prison of her life and an arranged marriage, Silviana runs into the forest with two friends to find a different life.  Soon though she steals into a jail and leaves a message for the Sheriff stating that she will protect the innocent.  Soon people are flocking to her hideaway and before long a band of rebels is born.  As the past and that which she fears most approaches, Silviana must decide whether to flee or fight and if she does fight what she is willing to pay to save those she loves. 

The Forest Queen was an intriguing new twist on the old ballad of Robin Hood.  It was filled with dark twists and the process of overcoming pain and facing the fears of the past.  The characters were heartfelt and the world building was unique but could have been expanded upon.

The world building was different and the author created something entirely new for the basis of the tale.  We learned little of it and it was much the same as the original Robin Hood.  The kingdom is filled with oppression from the nobles through overtaxing and the harsh punishments enacted due to minor infractions.  Besides that, the book told little of the surrounding environment in which the characters interacted besides the existence of a forest, a shire, and a river.

Image result for fantastic! gifBesides the somewhat unsatisfactory world building, the characters were fantastic.  The main character, Silvie was haunted by nightmares due to her brother.  Her character growth was wonderful to read about for she grew from a girl unwilling to change and see life, as is really, is into a young woman who steals from her brother and the nobles giving the pilfered goods to the poor who are barely surviving so that the rich may live in resplendence.

Her love interest, Bird was mediocre.  He was strong and quiet always supporting Silvie but his character was not expanded on or really grown throughout the tale.  He was not my favorite and the attraction between Silvie and Bird was slow and almost nonexistent.  Besides Birdie, there was Little Jane who grew from a frightened girl turned out of her home to a happy and excited mother.  Her character growth was excellent since we saw her acceptance of a new life that afforded her options she had never thought of before.

Silvie’s brother, Sheriff John was extremely cruel and his intentions towards his sister were most certainly not pure.  He was just like any other cruel Sheriff who imprisoned and heavily taxed his constituents then tortured, killed, and jailed them for their inability to sustain the high taxes.

Overall, I quite enjoyed the book.  There were a few hiccups at the beginning when the author skipped a few scenes into the future which I personally found annoying but I liked the retelling of Robin Hood and would still recommend The Forest Queen.

 

Book Review: Siren’s Lure by Frost Kay

Book Review: Siren’s Lure by Frost Kay

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Hayjen never believed in legends, myths, or rumors.  That was until he was captured and enslaved by a race that was thought to be safely ensconced from the rest of the world.  As danger stalks ever closer, Hayjen is tossed into the watery depths of the sea where he begins to question everything he has ever believed.

Lilja is intent upon vengeance.   Scythia will fall and she will bring it about for what they took from her can never be replaced. But an accident occurs and despite the laws, she rescues a dying man at the cost of exposing a secret she has kept for years.  A secret that could destroy an entire race.  I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.  This book was published March 27th, 2018.

Siren’s Lure was an intriguing short novella that is part if The Aermian Feuds series.  I have not read any of the books that make up the series besides this prequel but I was immediately drawn into the tale from the first sentence.  The world was filled with siren-like creatures, pirates, slave traders, and kingdoms on the brink of war.  Add to that stunning characters with unique abilities and charming personalities hiding pain and secrets and I could not put the book down.

The characters were what first drew me into this tale.  Hayjen and Lilja are the two main characters.  The book’s chapters alternate between their two perspectives.  They were both unique and charismatic in their own ways.  Hayjen is a man captured and enslaved.  His goal is to protect all the women on the ship and when they are rescued by pirates he keeps a sharp lookout for deceit.  He is pained at having left his sister and all he wants to do is protect Mer and return to the sister he left to fend for herself.  His serious and protective ways endeared him to the reader.

The other contributor to this tale, Lilja is a hunted creature whose very kind is supposed to be extinct.  She was banished from her family and she now rescues those enslaved so that they do not face the same fate she did.  As a younger woman, she was enslaved and she suffered mightily at the hands of her captors.  But she looks beyond her past to the future and her optimistic ways and love of books endeared her to me.

Image result for i want more gifThe characters were not the only thing that enthralled me.  The world building was unique but since the tale was so short I only managed a glimpse into the complicated world built by the author.  There were so many unique aspects that made up the universe that the small look into it was not enough.  I am determined to read the rest of the series for this single short novella has captured my imagination and dug its claws in.

In the end, I would definitely recommend this novella.  I believe it can be read separately from the rest of the series but I will find that out soon enough when I read the other books.  Read it for it is worth being in its thrall for a short hour.

Book Review: Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller

Book Review: Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller

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Alosa has finally found all three pieces of the map.  Soon they will set sail and find the legendary treasure.  But a secret leads to betrayal and soon Alosa is in a race to save her crew and find the treasure before the Pirate King.  However, they may not make it and she comes to the realization that the only way to find the treasure and kill her father is to embrace the side of her she has always hated.  She will get to the treasure first.  She has to…. after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.

This book was just as good as the first book if not better.  The reader learned more about Alosa as a pirate captain and what her capabilities as a siren were.  Furthermore, we saw her crew and how dedicated they were to her and in turn she to them.  Her relationship with Riden developed maddeningly slowly with unnecessary emotional obstacles thrown in their path.

The character development was stunning, though, especially for Alosa who finally broke free of her father’s control and began to understand that she could harness the siren Image result for stunning pirates of the caribbean gifswithin her.  Her dedication to the safety of her crew was astounding considering the fact that most pirates would betray those around them for a little bit of coin.  The fiery spirit and stunning fighting skills once again showed up in the tale.  However, Alosa’s relationship with Riden was fraught with emotional upheaval that involved one or the other angry.  I just wanted them to finally figure out their relationship instead of dancing around it.  Despite that, I loved Alosa and Riden’s characters.

I also liked exploring Alosa’s crewmates.  Most of them were women with a dark and violent past who had joined the crew for a chance at a better life.  Their undying loyalty to Alosa was inspiring and I was extremely sad when a few of them tragically died.  I loved their characters and they only enriched the tale.

I would recommend this book and in general, the duology for it is a wonderful tale full of loss, sea fights, pirates, sirens, and treasure.

Book Review: Mistress Spy by Pamela Mingle

Book Review: Mistress Spy by Pamela Mingle

Madeline just wants to avenge her brother but when she’s captured she is offered two choices: become a spy for the queen or hang.  Maddy chooses to spy ending up in a maid’s position at the home of suspected traitors.

Nicholas is ready to go his own way after years of service to Queen Elizabeth but his plan changes with the arrival of a feisty beauty who betrayed her country but has a chance at redemption.

As tensions rise and a plot unfolds the two must find a way to put aside their differences and embrace the danger that fraught their world.  I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and all opinions are my own.  This book’s publishing date is August 27th.

I cannot, in all honesty, say this book was fantastic.  It was mediocre and at best somewhat interesting.  Overall I found the book to be a boring and tedious affair.  I simply could not get into the tale and the only reason I finished the book was to find out the full plot put into place against the crown and whether Maddy and Nicholas managed to stop it.  The setting was somewhat intriguing but the characters were just blah.

Image result for boring gifThe main characters, Maddy and Nicholas were boring to read about.  I never could feel the emotion that they carried and their interactions were so… I don’t know how to explain but they felt fake.  I don’t have anything against the characters but I just couldn’t see into their minds like I can in other books.  I hated reading about their characters and I wanted to put the book down so many times but I felt the need to finish what I started and I wanted to find out more about the plot to rescue Mary Queen of Scots.

The background and setting was the only intriguing part of this book.  There was a plot in place to rescue Mary Queen of Scots and I kept reading to find out whether the plan would come to fruition or not.  It was stopped and the book ended on a happy note.  However, I felt that the book was not completely historically accurate in the characters interactions and the phrases and words used throughout the book were too modern.  The idea for the setting was interesting but it could have been carried out better.

Related imageIn the end, I could not stand the book and would give it a low rating.  I don’t think it’s worth the time it takes to read it and even if you do read it you will find yourself falling asleep.  Mistress Spy was boring, inaccurate, and hard to get through and I would recommend not reading this book.

Book Review: Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Book Review: Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

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Alosa is sent on a mission to retrieve the missing piece of a map that leads to an island full of treasure.  She orchestrates her capture by the enemy allowing for the perfect opportunity to search their ship.  More than a match for the fearsome pirate crew Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever first mate, Riden.  He may see through some of her schemes but Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve for nothing can deter the daughter of the Pirate King.

This book was amazing!  The characters were remarkable and the tale was distinctive.  The setting was also incredibly interesting for who does not want to read about pirates, sirens, and treasure?  I would definitely recommend this book which contains strong lead characters who do not back down from a fight.

Image result for pirate of the caribbean gifsThe main character, Alosa was simply kick butt and I loved how she could fight and escape quite handily.  Plus the fact she was part siren.  It added a unique quality to her character along with her other skills.  Her constant arguments and undeniable attraction to Riden was entertaining to read about.  Her character was witty, intelligent, strong, and she could move on with life even as people died.  I liked her style choices and it was hilarious to read about some of the scrapes she got into on board the Night farer.  However, her character bore past scars for her father basically tortured her for his own purposes.  He made her strong and able to endure extreme situations but he also molded her to be the pirate he wanted her to be.  Despite that Alosa’s character stood strong and true and I quite cherished her.

Riden was the perfect love interest for the tale.  We didn’t have a chance to really see him fight but we were led to believe that he was as amazing if not better than Alosa.  What really drew me as a reader to him was his ability to draw out and interact with Alosa.  He engaged in witty banter with her while easily reading her like no other had ever been able to do.  He could see the change in her when she eased into her siren side and he predicted her escapades.  He was loyal to his brother and yet he sometimes did not stand up to him.  Despite that, he covered for Alosa and it was simply intriguing to read about him falling for her.  He was the quintessential man for the daughter of the Pirate King.

Image result for pirate of the caribbean gifs you're despicableThe other pirates were deliciously without honor.  Some were superstitious, others cruel, and others were drunkards.  They each had their vices that are usually expected of pirates and I quite simply loved it. The other pirates contributed in their own ways to the tale making the book more intriguing and engaging

Beyond the characters, I quite liked the setting of the book.  The world is ruled by pirates along with dangerous sea creatures.  The whole reason for Alosa having to purposefully get captured was intriguing within itself and completely something a pirate would focus on for every pirate wants gold and treasure beyond imagining.  It was unique making an already wonderfully written tale all the more outstanding.

I would highly recommend this book and I simply cannot wait to get my hands on the second book to find out what happens to Alosa and her crew of thieving scoundrels.